Wednesday, July 21, 2010

National Junk Food Day

Jolly Ranchers, Twizzlers, Jaw Breakers. Beef Jerky, Cheetos, Slim Jims. Oreos, Pop-Tarts, Nutty Bars.

If my kids planned the menu, that's what we'd eat--junk. For the children in my house, there are only five major food groups. They include pizza, salty snacks, sweet snacks, pop, and candy.

As I type this, there are seven soon-to-be-8-year olds camped out on my living room floor for Jot's birthday celebration. So far tonight, they've gobbled up corn dogs, chips, putrid green-colored punch, cake, and ice cream. I also served green beans, but half the boys refused with a polite "No, thank you." I tried a little positive reinforcement saying, "Nobody has to have green beans, but I imagine your moms would be so happy if you ate a few." Several took them, but only a couple finished the meager piles of bean upon their plate.

Why is it that junk food is so appealing? It makes us feel sluggish, fills our bellies so there is no room for the good stuff, causes cavities and mouth sores, adds unwanted weight, among other not-so-good things. Today is National Junk Food Day. I'm all for treating yourself to a snack or some candy in moderation. (I think a day is at it's best if popcorn is involved.) But, if all we ever put into our belly consisted of sugary sweets and salty snacks, we would end up fat, lazy, totally unhealthy people unable to live our lives or fulfill our purposes.

The Bible speaks of junk food, and not too flatteringly. Isaiah asked the people a profound question: Why do you waste your money on Twinkies and Twizzlers when you could have filet Mignon and chicken cordon bleu--and have it for free! (Well, that's not exactly what he said. But if you read it in The Message, you get his drift. )

"Hey there! All who are thirsty,

come to the water!
Are you penniless?
Come anyway—buy and eat!
Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk.
Buy without money—everything's free!
Why do you spend your money on junk food,
your hard-earned cash on cotton candy?
Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best,
fill yourself with only the finest.
Pay attention, come close now,
listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words." Isaiah 55:1-3

That's a question I'd like to ask my kids and a lesson God has used my kids to teach me about my own desires and habits. Why settle for sugar and air when I can have something so much better?

It could be in a variety of areas. Why do I toil and wear myself out cleaning up after my family rather than enjoying the few precious years I have them in my home? Why spend so much money on my appearance or my stuff, yet hold tight-fisted to my money when I hear of someone else with a need? Why do I waste time watching pointless TV programs or whittling away time on the computer rather than developing my interests, reading God's word, praying for someone in need, or countless other things that would serve an eternal purpose? You fill in the blank for yourself: Why do I spend __________ on __________ when I could fill myself with __________?

God offers us the choicest of fare and He's already paid the price. He's offered us nourishment for our bodies, souls, and spirits. Who are we to settle for less?


  1. Yeah, okay, you're right, but I'm still hoping for calorie-free hot fudge ice cream cake when I get to heaven. Is that too much for a girl to ask???? Thanks for the great post. And you're right...

  2. I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree w/Linda. Ice cream cake. Swoon. . .

    Great post, Nikki. Love your blog.

  3. See, ladies, I think when we get to heaven everything will be FULL of calories--it just won't matter anymore. (wink) And I'm pretty sure there will be Cheetos there. I can't even start with those things!